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TENNESSEE TO LIFT RESTRICTIONS ON NURSING HOME VISITS

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The Tennessee Department of Health announced state-specific visitation restrictions for long-term care facilities will end this Sunday, February 28, 2021. Facilities should use the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services guidance for safe operation and visitation with limited visitation restrictions no longer in place at the state level.

The Tennessee Department of Health recognizes the extraordinary challenges long-term care facilities, their residents and the family members and caregivers of these particularly vulnerable Tennesseans have faced during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result of the federal long-term care facility pharmacy partnership, 100 percent of Tennessee’s nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities have completed both doses of COVID-19 vaccinations, and Tennessee’s assisted care living facilities and residential homes for the aged are projected to be completed this week.

“The health and safety of vulnerable Tennesseans, especially our long-term care residents, remains our top priority, and our comprehensive and persistent efforts to protect this population from COVID-19 have saved lives,” said Tennessee Health Commissioner Lisa Piercey, MD, MBA, FAAP. “Now that vaccinations at all long-term care facilities are nearing completion, we are ready to transition to a more sustainable approach of following these best practices for safe operation of long-term care facilities in Tennessee.”

Guidance for Visitation

The guidance issued by CMS provides reasonable ways a nursing home can safely facilitate in-person visits to address residents’ social and emotional needs. Certified Medicare and Medicaid facilities should continue to follow the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Visitation Guidance. Per this guidance, nursing homes may allow indoor visitation when there has been no new onset of COVID-19 cases in the last 14 days and the facility is not currently conducting outbreak testing.

The visitation guidance can be seen by clicking on the following link:

https://www.cms.gov/files/document/qso-20-39-nh.pdf


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